Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 14, 2019 - 36

FOOD & DRINK
What other common ground did you
discover during the collaboration?
Will: Our motivation is to continue to create. As artists,
we are our toughest critics and often struggle to be
satisfied with our work. 'Failure' is relative to one's
perspective, and it's important to keep your mind open
because sometimes a happy accident can actually be the
'eureka' moment.
Nitsa: I get that. I want my tables to complement
whatever Todd's producing on the plate. It goes well
together. But I'm also aware of the fact that I can always
get better and try something new and different. It's a
constant process.
Nikki: Sometimes when designing a custom piece, you
can get wrapped up in what you think the client wants
and forget to step back and look at it from another's
perspective. Back when we had just started doing
custom ceramics, we had a meeting with The Restaurant
at Meadowood to create new service wares. We had
designed various prototypes for them with a particular
aesthetic in mind. As we were packing the work up and
heading out the door, one of my Earthware bowls caught
my eye, so I brought it. With its raw, rustic, irregular lip,
refined, smooth interior and weighty, stone-like presence,
the Earthware was outside what we thought they wanted,
but it turned out to be a clear favorite. We were happy
with the other wares made for the project, and they
liked what they saw too, but the Earthware piece really
resonated with them. They then commissioned us to
create 'Earth' chargers that set their dining room for a
number of years to follow, changing the look and feel of
the restaurant in a successful collaboration. Soon after,
The Restaurant at Meadowood earned its third star from
the Michelin Guide-a rating that continues to this day.
Todd: Right. Once, I spent three days creating a beautiful,
golden squab consommé and dehydrating foraged
blossoms for the first course of a charity dinner, and
everyone raved most about the vegan chocolate cake we
made for dessert, which was a recipe we simply adapted
from the web. I mean, it was a good cake, but I'm a
winery chef. You make educated guesses, and that only
comes with time and experience. But, you never know
100 percent what's going to work, where you're going to
find magic, so to speak. In the Jordan kitchen, I'm always
trying to utilize natural elements from around the estate.
Sometimes the things I expect to work out don't work
quite as well as I'd hoped. Other times the things I think
won't work at all end up being the biggest surprises.
Do you have similar creative processes?
Nikki: Whatever art you practice, whether it's food or
ceramics or winemaking, it's a dynamic endeavor defined
by the limitations of the medium and nature of creativity.
It takes time, lots of hard work and dedication. It's an
ever-changing process of discovery, and often you'll
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Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 14, 2019

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